Monday, 29 June 2020

Sadness and online story-telling

An unforeseen glitch has assailed my online storytelling.

Though I hold the copyright to my work, the rights of it are leased to the publisher.

David C Cook has the rights (and this will include audio and video) to The Clear Light of Day, and Lion Hudson has the rights to A Day and a Life.

The Clear Light of Day was published (the David C Cook edition) in 2008, and A Day and a Life in 2015, since when neither publisher has chosen to take up their rights to produce an audio or video version of either book.

During the time of coronavirus many writers have been reading their work online to cheer up people confined at home — not for money, just to make life better. 

It does, of course, benefit the publisher of the work, since all publishers have been feeling the cold wind of coronavirus times, and people who enjoy what they have heard are more likely to buy a copy of it than are people who have never come across it.

Thus, in my naivety, I thought it would be just fine to read my stories to you online. I wasn't making money out of it — it was just nice. Had you decided to buy a copy of the story because you enjoyed it, well, 75% of the purchase price would go straight into the publisher's pocket. Having no audio or video version of their own to see, you'd have thought they'd be pleased, would you not?

However, today I heard (via my husband; they did not trouble to contact me directly) from Lion Hudson that they have a problem with my reading you my story without their permission.

That being the case, we are seeking permission for the videos to be left up for you to enjoy, but in the meantime I have sadly felt I must take them down. If you were halfway through the story, I am so sorry. If Lion Hudson decide they are willing to allow you to hear it, I'll put the videos back where they were.

Having realised the problem existed, I wrote to David C Cook to ask if it was okay for me to continue with The Clear Light of Day — explaining that I am making no money out of this, it's just for people's happiness and enjoyment. The lady at David C Cook got back to me very quickly, and said she would check and let me know. I'm sure she will — she is a most helpful and dependable person. Just for the moment I have left up The Clear Light of Day videos, while I wait for a response (so, catch up quick if you are two or three instalments behind), but I may have to remove them if David C Cook decide not to give their permission.

If permission is withheld, I'll see if I can get the rights back since neither publisher has chosen to take them up — but they may not agree, I'll just have to see.

And that, friends, is why you have no video with an instalment of the story today. 

If David C Cook come back to me saying it's okay to go ahead, then I'll record the next bit of the story for you as soon as I hear from them.

I am so sorry to disappoint you. 

If they say no, I do have a book of short stories that's gone out of print. I'll read you that.



Anonymous said...

Oh, the irony...
Sleep well,
Deb x

Pen Wilcock said...



Jo said...

Sorry to hear this Pen!

Kortney Garrison said...

So sorry for this hiccup! I was just beginning Chapter 27 of Day + a Life. Thankfully, Brother Ced is home!

Where I work in children's books, publishers are proactively offering permission to record work just as you are doing. It had been effective through June, but just got extended through September in most cases.

By the way your readings did convince me to buy the books. I have read them through numerous times always getting them from the library. But the pandemic has made it clear that I *need* these books on the shelves closer to home.

Praying for a peaceful, generous end to the question.

I'll happily start on Clear Light instead. Dinner still has to get made!

Cate Nunan said...

As Iris would say, with her hands held dramatically to her cheeks, "Oh my goodness!" I will go and buy the book on Kindle but will just hold onto hope that they will say a resounding "YES" because the whole point of this was that it was so nice to be read to. xx

Pen Wilcock said...

Jo — Thank you! x

Kortney — I've changed the Youtube settings for the last videos of the story (from private to accessible to people with the link) and sent you the link. Thank you so much for buying my books. I'm interested to hear your emporium is proactively making readings available. How nice, and yes, I thought that was what most people were doing. Apparently not.

Cate — I know!! Thank you for being willing to stay with the story on e-book — I'l make sure one way or another you get to have it read to you, though.

All this stuff was only one of several horrible things that came my way from publishers yesterday — I won't bore you with the rest, but it was like all the people who publish my work ganged up on me at once! By the evening my entire bandwidth was clogged up with rage and I couldn't;t have read a story to save my life, but I've got better today. So, what I'm going to do is carry on with the recordings of the Clear Light of Day, and if David C Cook say I can't put them up here, then I'll change the Youtube settings so that they're accessible only to people with the link, and I can then send the link to anyone who would like it.

greta said...

honest to pete (as we say here in the states), you'd think those darned publishers would be happy. after all, they may make some money out of this and it increases your readership. these are, after all, YOUR words. the older i get, the more i am puzzled by these sorts of things. it all seems so counter-intuitive!

Betty Brown said...

I was so disappointed that I couldn't get today's reading. (My eyes no longer focus properly at night, so I have to rely on audio...and this book I'd never heard of before.) And it's so relevant to me, a long time lover of Jesus, who just doesn't easily fit-in to the ready made religious molds... And you read so very well--leisurely, feelingly, and contemplatively. (This is, I've found, a rare gift. So many books are read way too fast! Even by authors! Of course, some would say I'm slow! No: I like to savor my food...not wolf it down in a few minutes! Anyways, delighted to hear we'll hear it way or the other. Thanks for enduring the trouble. Betty Brown

Pen Wilcock said...

Oh, no! Betty! That's so sad! Which book were you in? Where were you up to? If you were listening to A Day and a Life, and comment again leaving your email address for me to find, I won't publish the comment (because you wouldn't;t want your email address made public) but I'll send you links to the parts of the story you haven't yet heard. x

Greta — you speak my mind precisely. x